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Nigerian Christians Refuse to Give Up Faith as Boko Haram Continues Persecution, Killing

( [email protected] ) Jul 01, 2014 04:01 PM EDT
Over the weekend, over 30 Christians were killed in the latest attack by terrorist group Boko Haram. However, Christians remain strong in their faith despite opposition. Christian leaders urge prayer for those in the country facing ongoing persecution.
The terrorist group continues to persecute Christians throughout Nigeria (Reuters)

Violence against Christians continues in Nigeria, as the terrorist group Boko Haram launched a deadly attack this past weekend.

At least 30 people were confirmed dead after suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked Kwada village close to Chibok in Borno State, where more than 200 school girls were kidnapped almost two months ago.

According to CNN, insurgents sprayed gunfire at worshippers and torched four churches, including the Protestant Church of Christ, the Pentecostal Deeper Life Bible Church and Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa, which is Hausa for Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.

"The latest attack by Boko Harm on four churches and those innocently attending Sunday services inside once again affirms the religious motivation of this group's heinous crimes against the Nigerian people. For years, the Christian population of north Nigeria has faced a devastating offensive by Islamic militants that has yet to be effectively countered," said Cameron Thomas, International Christian Concern Regional Manager for Africa.

"Today, the bloodied soil of Kwada and Kautikari villages serve as a heart-rending cry for greater action to ensure the safety of Christians wishing to exercise their right to practice their beliefs free from fear of retribution at the barrel of gun or of an explosive."

Despite the persecution, Christians in the country refuse to renounce their faith in God, says Jerry Dykstra of Open Doors USA.

"Christians have kept their faith despite continued attacks. Thank the Lord for their faith. Pray that their Christian testimonies will bring glory to God and help extend His kingdom in Nigeria. Pray that there will be greater effort from the government to provide security for its people in these remote northern areas," he writes.

In the meantime, the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans continues to fight for the release of the schoolgirls that were kidnapped by the Boko Haram earlier this year.

"Those victims are still there and their pains are our pains. We have been receiving all kinds of sad tales about their fat including tales of brainwashing, unending rapes, untreated sicknesses and forced weddings, CANAN wrote in a press release.

"Innocent Nigerians are still at the mercy of those merchants of blood, tears and sorrow. The Nigerian government continues to wonder and wander as the terrorists continue to hit at random. The world should however not keep their peace as yet," the statement continued, asking the U.S. government to send forces to Nigeria to seek the girl's release.

Nigeria is ranked No. 14 on the Open Doors 2014 World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians. Last month the country was ranked No. 1 on the World Watch Top 10 Violence List by Open Doors researchers as well as being the top country in the number of martyrs with 2,073 from Nov. 1, 2012, and March 31, 2014.